XBox One shakes off bad press for strong midnight release

by Bradley Hartsell

Like last week’s midnight frenzy for the Playstation 4, the XBox One got its chance to pack local retailers early Friday for the latest console release.

The XBox One went on sale as Thursday turned to midnight, bringing lines out the door for the first XBox release in seven years. Last week, the PS4 sold out quickly at places like Best Buy and Gamestop, with many more people showing up than the stores had consoles available. Just to have a small chance of getting a new system is enough to bring out local gamers eager for the first console releases in seven years.

Jeremy Crow, general manager of Best Buy at Ashley Park in Newnan, says his store’s expectations for the XBox One release are on par with the success they experienced with the PS4.

“We definitely expected the PS4 to sell out, which it did, and we expect the same for the XBox One,” said Crow before the release.

Crow added pre-release buzz for the XBox was about the same as the PS4 buzz. He noted some of the differences in the systems.

“XBox is a little more geared for multimedia entertainment with Kinect sensor being built into it,” explained Crow. “For the gamers, the two systems have continually gotten more similar, even more so with the newest releases.”

As for lines, pre-order customers were guaranteed their XBox Ones and all additional consoles, a limited quantity, were to be first come, first serve.

“We expect to have a line of customers outside, anxious to get their hands on their new XBox,” Crow said.

Gamestop at Ashley Park’s store manager Robbie Kreller brushed aside the early user-unfriendly criticisms of the XBox One that Microsoft announced several months ago. According to Kreller, the bad buzz has lingered, with some gaming fans unaware that Microsoft reversed almost all the features gamers found too restrictive when the company made the initial announcement.

“People think to this day that negative stuff is still there, but it’s not true. We still get people who say they can’t believe Microsoft is doing this or that, but that hasn’t been the case for five months.”

As a result, pre-orders were down a little bit for the XBox One, but by Christmas, Kreller expects the preconceived notions to be long forgotten.

Kreller was excited about the revamped Kinect feature, which on a game like “Dead Rising 3,” real-life noises — sneezing or a dark barking — will often trigger the action.

Whether you’re loyal to XBox or Playstation, November has been good to gamers and when the clock struck midnight early today, the frenzy was fully unleashed on the 2013 gaming and holiday season.

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